Webster University Dedicates New East Building

$29 million classroom building designed by renowned architect Robert A.M. Stern

A crowd gathers for lunch underneath a huge balloon sculpture created by Webster University alumnus Jason Hackenwerth, which is hanging in the new East Academic Building, 545 Garden Ave. photo by Max Bouvatte (click for larger version)
April 06, 2012
Webster University last week dedicated its new East Academic Building -- the first new classroom building on Webster's St. Louis campus since 1984.

The $29 million, 94,323-square-foot East Academic Building will house the George Herbert Walker School of Business and Technology as well as other programs and services. With 31 classrooms, 10 large computer labs, 48 offices and two large lobbies, the new building features the most up-to-date instruction design and technology.

The building was designed by renowned architect Robert A.M. Stern, dean of Yale University's School of Architecture. Stern spoke at the March 28 dedication. The East Academic Building's architectural style is a modern interpretation of "collegiate gothic" with a nod to the pure gothic style of Webster's iconic building, Webster Hall.

"The opening of the East Academic Building represents a defining moment for Webster as we move toward completion of our new campus master plan, which will help direct future development of our St. Louis campus for the next 15 years and beyond," said Webster President Elizabeth (Beth) J. Stroble.

The 94,323-square-foot East Academic Building is the first new classroom building to be constructed on Webster University's St. Louis campus since 1984. The building was made possible by a $10 million donation from long-time Webster University supporter and former U.S. Ambassador, George Herbert Walker III. photo by Diana Linsley (click for larger version)
With a tower visible from the entire Webster University campus, the East Academic Building will create a new east quadrangle between the Community Music School Building, the Repertory Theatre administrative offices and the Loretto-Hilton Center.

The building also boasts numerous sustainability features. The building site contains two rain gardens for controlled reduced runoff. Two green roofs and low-emittance glass help reduce heat and cooling loads and increase energy efficiency year-round. The green roofs contain 22,824 plants, including the varieties Sedum Album "coral carpet," Sedum Reflexum, Sedum Kamtschaticum and Festuca Glauca "Elijah Blue."

The impermeable membrane vapor barrier "envelope" of the East Academic Building implements high-performance design and construction techniques that surpass today's energy codes and produce estimated savings of $30,000 per year.

The building was made possible due to a $10 million donation from one of Webster University's long-time supporters and former U.S. Ambassador, George Herbert Walker III. The gift, announced in 2007, represented the largest individual donation since the university's modest beginnings in 1915.

On Saturday, March 31, Webster hosted a free and open-to-the-public Community Day at the new East Academic Building.

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